Darktrace plans to go public in London despite Deliveroo IPO flop


A Darktrace cybersecurity software program demonstration reveals how a world downside can begin with only one worker’s work station.

Michael S. Williamson | The Washington Post | Getty Images

LONDON — British cybersecurity start-up Darktrace mentioned Monday that it plans to go public in London, defying fears that Deliveroo’s disappointing IPO may put different tech companies off itemizing in the town.

The platform of the London-based agency makes use of synthetic intelligence expertise to detect and reply to cyberthreats in a enterprise’ IT techniques. It says its self-learning AI can monitor threats in actual time and provide you with methods to strike again.

Darktrace, based in 2013 by a gaggle of former intelligence consultants and mathematicians, mentioned it intends to float at the very least 20% of issued share capital in an preliminary public providing on the London Stock Exchange’s premium market. This would make it eligible for inclusion in benchmark indexes just like the FTSE 100.

“Our intention to list on the London Stock Exchange marks a major milestone in Darktrace’s history of rapid growth, and a historic day for the U.K.’s thriving technology sector,” mentioned Poppy Gustafsson, Darktrace’s co-founder and CEO.

“We are proud to be part of that tradition of British innovation, as the U.K. becomes a leading global centre for the development of AI,” she added.

Darktrace’s IPO announcement comes despite considerations over the lackluster market debut of Deliveroo, the Amazon-backed meals supply firm. Deliveroo shares plunged as much as 30% on their first day of buying and selling, making it one of the worst London IPOs for a big firm.

Deliveroo’s IPO flop additionally threatened to embarrass U.Okay. officers, who threw their weight behind the corporate because it introduced plans to go public in the town. London is trying to loosen up its listings necessities in a bid to appeal to extra high-growth tech corporations.

But some analysts mentioned Deliveroo’s woes could also be restricted to the corporate, which has been dogged by employment rights concerns, reasonably than a broader indication of bother for London tech listings. Deliveroo mentioned it is “just starting life as a public company” and is “confident” in its potential to ship long-term returns for shareholders.

Darktrace reported income of $199.1 million for the 12 months ended June. 30, 2020, up 45% from $137 million in the identical interval a 12 months earlier. Losses totalled $28.7 million, although this was narrower than the $34.7 million Darktrace misplaced in its 2019 fiscal 12 months.

Darktrace’s greatest investor is Invoke Capital, the enterprise fund of Mike Lynch, a U.Okay. entrepreneur. Lynch at present faces the specter of potential extradition to the U.S. over fraud prices associated to the sale of Autonomy — the software program agency he based — to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for $11 billion. Lynch denies any wrongdoing.

Gustafsson and Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Eagan each used to work at Autonomy. Darktrace shares the identical workplace constructing as Invoke in London, however says that Lynch has no direct involvement with the day-to-day operating of the corporate.

The agency, which was final valued at $1.65 billion in its final non-public financing spherical, has tapped Jefferies, Berenberg, KKR Capital Markets to lead the IPO if it goes forward, with Needham & Co. and Piper Sandler appearing as joint bookrunners. It’ll use funds raised from the float to develop new merchandise and strengthen its steadiness sheet.